Chen Guangcheng, Chinese Civil Rights Lawyer and Activist; Distinguished Senior Fellow in Human Rights, Witherspoon Institute; Distinguished Visiting Fellow of the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies, Catholic University of America; Senior Distinguished Advisor, Lantos Foundation for Human Rights & Justice
Moderated by Arthur Waldron, Lauder Professor of International Relations, Department of History, University of Pennsylvania
Chen Guangcheng is a Chinese civil rights lawyer and activist who has been a persistent voice for freedom, human dignity, and the rule of law in his native country. Working in rural communities in China, where he was known as the “barefoot lawyer,” Chen advocated the rights of disabled people, and organized class-action litigation against the government’s violent enforcement of its one-child policy. Blind since his childhood, Chen is self-taught in the law. His human rights activism resulted in his imprisonment by the Chinese government for four years, beginning in 2006; after his release he remained under house arrest, until his escape from confinement in 2012, whereupon he came to the United States, where he was a fellow at NYU School of Law in 2012-13.
Arthur Waldron is the Lauder Professor of International Relations in the Department of History at the University of Pennsylvania. His specialties are the history of China and Eurasia, and the history of war and violence. At Penn he is an associate of ISTAR—the Institute for Strategic Threat Assessment and Response—and has been associated with the Solomon Asch Institute for the Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict. Waldron is a founder and vice president of the International Assessment and Strategy Center, an independent, non-partisan 501(c)3 nonprofit research organization in Washington, DC, devoted to work on foreign policy. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Waldron is also a regular consultant to government, having served on the Congressionally mandated US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, and testifies regularly to both House and Senate committees. He has also served as an American representative in "track two" meetings involving Korea, China, Taiwan, Japan, and Russia. Before coming to Penn, Waldron taught at Harvard University, Princeton University, Brown University, and the Naval War College. He received his PhD from Harvard University.
The Witherspoon Institute